Fordham, Seton Hall and LIU Brooklyn were just some of the many institutions responsible for the exponential growth of this site, which was established three years ago today. (Photo courtesy of the author's personal collection)
Three years ago today, what has now become a portal for all things college basketball was started on a whim inside the WSJU Radio office at St. John's University with no real direction upon its inception. This morning, I look at the grand total of almost four hundred posts in this site's history, and still come away amazed at what has come out of seemingly very little.
April 17, 2009 was a night in which I created this space as a fallback in the event that my broadcasting career did not pan out. Three years later, I am proud to say that I have not only made strides on the air, I have gained recognition for "A Daly Dose Of Hoops" that has amounted to far greater than anything I ever could have envisioned. As it has turned out, "The Dose" is somewhat like a child to me; especially when you consider not just the way it has grown, but the rapid development in which its growth has undergone since its 2009 infancy. Following a focus on college basketball that served primarily to both carve out my own niche among sports blogs, this space has transitioned from generic recaps of newsworthy items to its usual content of reviews, previews, opinionated content, and even bracketology for an entire weekend in March that I try to keep original, refreshing and informative whenever possible. Apparently, whatever I have done lately has been significant, because the traffic boost that this site has received was so strong that it nearly quadrupled the total hit count from this day in 2011 over the last twelve months alone.
One year ago, I wrote my second anniversary retrospective with a total of 8,373 hits. At the present moment, that number has made its way to a staggering (at least in my mind) 30,548, which translates to an even more unbelievable 265 percent increase in viewership for those of you scoring at home. In fact, each of the last three months (including this one, which is on pace to break all-time monthly hit records) have generated over 2,800 views of any and all content on this site from literally all corners of the world. For someone who spends every broadcast and post putting his passion for the game into words, this support means more to me than any of you will ever know; because after all, there would be no me had it not been for you.
There are a number of people, places and things that contributed to our monumental growth, and social media is chief among them. Upon registering our 10,000th hit, the Daly Dose Of Hoops Facebook page was set up to provide another home for our content to go with a Twitter account that you can follow by clicking the link. I am honestly not sure how many followers I had at the start of the season, but today the number stands at 390; and in that group that numbers just ten short of 400 is a list of luminaries the likes of Hofstra coach Mo Cassara, former Utah Jazz star Bryon Russell and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, not to mention schools such as Marist, Iona, LIU Brooklyn, St. Francis College, Marquette and my alma mater St. John's, but most importantly, a great deal of common fans. Of course, anyone who takes the time to read what I have to say is special just for doing so, and for that I am grateful. While I'm thanking the people who made an impact on Twitter, I would be remiss if I failed to mention Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner, whose retweet of this piece I compiled listing the world-famous comparisons made by college basketball insider Jon Rothstein helped drive it to a record 1,900 views and the title of most viewed article in Daly Dose history. Rothstein himself is also going to get his well-deserved credit, as he has become not just a colleague, but also a great friend and inspiration over this past season.
Special thanks also goes to all the mid-major programs and sports information directors who were gracious enough to open their doors to me when I asked to cover their teams, not to mention the tremendous support I have received from both my broadcasting/writing brethren and the Northeast Conference office. Brian Beyrer, John Higgins and Nick Guerriero, (Iona) as well as Joe DiBari, (Fordham) not only welcomed me; but treated me as though I were one of their own, and that gesture resonated with me much more than any of these men will realize. It will give me great pleasure to visit the Hynes Center and Rose Hill Gym all season long next year if I am welcomed there again, and my one regret to not spending more time around these programs was that my schedule with St. Francis and St. John's precluded me from showing up more often than not. Speaking of my two primary employers, I cannot thank Dave Gansell and Brian Morales at St. Francis; as well as Mark Fratto, Kristin Duffy and the rest of the staff at my alma mater enough for how much they have taken care of me both on and off the air since I ventured into the sports media world back in my senior year of college in 2007.
Now that the acceptance speech is out of the way, I do have an announcement to make; one that I will be spreading out through our various means of communication to anyone who is interested, as I am serious about this. This past season was only the beginning. The recognition and exposure that I have received from my work over the last few months has led me to want to further establish A Daly Dose Of Hoops as a brand. Therefore, I am looking for a few more people to assist me in writing for this site for the 2012-13 season, and hopefully beyond in the hope that "The Dose" can maintain its presence at the high-major level while also covering more mid-major teams in the process. If you or someone you know would be interested in such an opportunity, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will talk more. I cannot offer anything extravagant at the moment, just the opportunity to branch out and become recognized.
This past year has been something I never thought possible, and I have all of you to thank for it. Without you, there would be no me; and as I said when I did something similar a year ago today, all of you are much bigger parts of my life than any of you will ever know.
It is my hope that you continue to join me on this journey into the world of college basketball both on and off the court in the coming years, because the best truly is yet to come. Year three was hopefully just the beginning of something that can be really special down the road. I would love to have all of you share it with me.
Thanks again, my friends.
Founder and Managing Editor
A Daly Dose Of Hoops